How To Break The Ice With Your New Flatmates

You’ve just moved into a new house with a collection of people you’ve never met before. Likely the last time this happened for you, you’d just been born. Happily back then, your parents largely did most of the work breaking the ice and after a number of times of bathing you and changing your clothes, the awkwardness more or less sorted itself out.

Now, you could do that with your new flatmates and I don’t know, they might like it, but the chances are acting like a new-born wouldn’t fly with them. It rarely does.

So you need to break the ice like a normal person. Ugh, I know, drama. What do you do? God knows that it’s harder than it sounds and you can’t copy an American film and ask some randomer under your roof about the Dorian Gray book they’re reading – as fucking if that’s how Zooey Deschanel met her husband in 500 Days Of Summer… spoilers? I digress.

Here’s some tips:

1. Buy alcohol for the house

Don’t be like a booze bitch. You don’t want the rep that if you’re smiled at, you’ll start throwing K Ciders around like you’re on a Scottish stag do. You need to find the middle ground between being dangerously frugal and people thinking you’re an international student.

If, for instance, there’s six people in your house, buy a 24 pack of Heineken. That’s four beers each and plenty of time to talk.

Tesco currently have a deal where you can buy 36 large cans of Carling for £20. That must be worth people thinking you’re somewhat worth talking to?

2. Suggest a group shop

No one household needs six bottles of ketchup. That’s science and there’s no point trying to refute it. The same goes for most condiments and provisions like toilet paper.

One way to break the ice would be to round up your peers and suggest that they all chip in for an online shop. Imagine the fun you’d have: “Cushelle? I had you down as more of an Andrex type… What’s your tampon brand?”

*Absolutely don’t say that*

The point remains though.

3. Openly cry in the kitchen

Despite what you might think about humanity in general, people are largely nice, and if you’re loudly ugly crying in the kitchen, someone’s bound to pick up on it. Just make sure you really overdo it – think Cedric Diggory’s dad at the end of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

At least one person will ask what’s up and when they do, lie. Just lie to them. If there’s one thing about lying to people that you have to live with for up to three years, it’s that it will never come back to bite you. Right?

Sure, you might be known as the emotional wreck down the hall, but at least you’ll be known, and if nothing else, the other people in the house will probably bond over discussing you. You’re taking the bullet for their friendship – that’s very noble.

4. Drinking games

Unless you’re in junior school, no one has ever realised they’ve made a new best friend sober. That’s just one of the facts of life that you have to deal with. You’ll eventually leave uni and have to try to make friends at work but that will be near impossible until you go out on a Friday evening for Gemma’s leaving party.

Your first week of university offers the perfect opportunity to get liver-achingly drunk whilst meeting new people and not having the stigma of being the only one pissed out of your mind.

Of course, there’s an allocated freshers night (sometimes week) to facilitate this, but those clubs are mostly full up with people who’ve brought their friends from outside of uni and second years trying to take advantage of naïve newbies.

Get your foot in the door at pres with your new housemates. Suggest a game of ‘ring of fire’ or ‘never have I ever’ and five minutes in you’ll know everything you need to know about the people in your flat to be able to blackmail them into companionship.

5. Girls

It’s unlikely because you’re a filthy fresher but if you have access to a group of young ladies, whether they’re from uni or your homelife, bring them to your flat for pre-drinks one day and most of the fellas you dorm with will want to talk to you.

Honestly, like moths to a flame. Scary.

6. Start a Whatsapp group

It’ll definitely go flat within a few days and you’ll end up starting a new one with the people you actually like but it’s still worth a go. You’ll get everyone’s numbers and names in one fell swoop and if you manage call it something funny, people will assume you’re one of the better ones.


Basically though, be yourself. You’ve made it this far by doing that and even though it seems like it’s going to be impossible to live with a bunch of new people and having to be polite all of the time, in no time you’ll be swearing at them in jest just like you imagined you wouldn’t.

Think back to the last great friend you met and how long it took for you two to start insulting each other on the regular without it being seen as plain rude and you won’t be able to pinpoint the transition.

You’ll be fine.

Or not, I’m no doctor.